Why I Finally Decided To Get Healthy

Why I Finally Decided To Get Healthy

TGIF!  First off, I have to say THANK YOU to all the wonderful bloggers who nurtured my bruised ego yesterday, gave me virtual hugs, inspiration, and kind words of encouragement.  It recharged me to get over it and on with better things!

All the uplifting support really couldn’t have come at a better time, as today would have been my father’s 64th birthday.  I can’t help but continue to feel an emptiness whenever a family-centered day comes around, and mine is missing our leader.  My father was amazing and the kind of person I aspire to be each day of my life.  It continues to break my heart that we lost him to cancer in 2011.

One thing I regret is that I didn’t have my life together when I lost my father.  I was unhealthy in every way.  I know that he worried about me and my future.  That’s one of the main reasons I vowed to turn my life around and why I decided to get healthy finally.  I want my father to know that I’m okay and that I’m happy.

I have changed my life completely, and I am glad that I can connect with my father through my healthy living journey.  However, I also feel sadness that I cheated him out of the adult Erin he would have like to have met, who incidentally, is much like the younger (more passionate) Erin he used to know.

When I was growing up, I was excellent at downhill skiing.  Not just good, my father would say, “born with a natural talent that people can’t create.”  I began to train as a racer at a young age.  My father and I would ski together all the time, and it was a particular way we connected.  I would never say that my dad was a competitive person because he never cared much for accolades, but when it came to me and athletics, he was always taken by my natural ability.  He always said I shouldn’t take it for granted.

Unfortunately, by the age of 16, that’s just what I did.   I quit playing all sports.  I know that this concerned my father.  I took to being an unhealthy teenager who didn’t exercise at all.  I became depressed and started to feel bad about myself.  I wasn’t capable at that age to understand the connection between stopping something I was good at that made me happy and being overweight, unhappy, and directionless.  I think we can all say, “if I knew then, what I know now” about many things in our lives.

I also developed an eating disorder.  I know that this worried my father.  I struggled with bulimia right up until the end of his life.  I drank too much.  I ate poorly.  I didn’t exercise.  I dated losers.  I had no money.  I had no career.  I had no passion.  I could go on and on here about the ways that I worried my father, and how I can’t take them back.

I know that those thoughts are pointless and he would be the first person to tell me, “Oh Erin, give it up” as he was never a fan of people feeling sorry for themselves.

So this is what I have to believe.

I have to believe that he knows that I have a stronger relationship with my mother than ever.

I have to believe that he knows that I’m healthy.

I have to believe that he knows that I’ve become an athlete again.

I have to believe that he knows I married a man he would have loved like a son.

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Even though I took many painful detours in my life, I have to believe here is where I’m meant to be.

Sometimes the most painful experiences in life provide us with the most comfort and purpose.

Happy birthday, Dad.  My gift to you is the Erin you always wanted me to become.

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Has a loss or dark experience evoked change within yourself?

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Spread the good word!

25 Comments

  1. April 24, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    The greatest way that you can honor your father is to give yourself the gift of a long life of health. I am so sorry for your loss, but you and your health are testament to your love for him 🙂

    • April 24, 2015 / 1:28 pm

      So true, Susie! I really believe that you’re right, that living a healthy life is the best gift. I know he would be happy to see it! Thank you for your kind words! <3

  2. April 24, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    That is some sweet hair! I’m jealous.

    Definitely going through my addiction and into recovery has changed me for the better. I am even able to be thankful for all of the things that I have gone through because I think they make me a better person and give me ways to give back to others.

    • April 24, 2015 / 1:52 pm

      I know, my sister and brother definitely got my dad’s hair. I have fine, wavy hair!
      You are a great person and I’m sure your story and the strength and wisdom you’ve acquired is helping and will continue to help many, many people. You’re awesome, Erin! 🙂

  3. April 24, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Okay, so my instinct as a parent is that your dad knew all this about you already. He knew you wouldn’t get stuck there, that you’d learn and grow and change because parents just *know* this stuff. We know our kids so intimately, so well, inside and out that whenever they do things or make choices that don’t line up with who they are, we just hold them while we wait for them to come back. He knew you’d come back. <3 And, by the way, his hair is so awesome. I can just tell he was the best of the best.

    • April 24, 2015 / 2:46 pm

      Thank you, Suzy your parental wisdom means SO much to me. I think I project a lot of my feelings onto the situation, but I do worry that I caused him a lot of grief the last few years with some of my bs. He was the best of the best though, and always appreciated my quirks (when few others did)! Again, thank you for saying this to me, it has given me peace of mind. Also, I so didn’t inherit the awesome hair gene, but my brother and sister did. I’m a slave to volumizing products lol <3

      • April 25, 2015 / 1:00 am

        Hey, anytime. I mean it.

  4. April 24, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    Oh bless you Erin for sharing this story! You are such a star and your dads passion and spirit in life now lives on through you – he knows how strong you are now and what you have achieved because he will always be a part of you 🙂

    • April 24, 2015 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you, Jen so much for saying that. I know he would definitely be proud and I feel his spirit in everything I do.

  5. Bethany
    April 24, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    He’s always known who YOU are and as Glenda the good witch says,” you’ve always had the power.” Everything happens for a reason even if we don’t always understand it. Happy Birthday uncle Al, I’m sure you’re keeping them smiling beyond the pearly gates! Xo

    • April 24, 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks, Bethany! I love you! <3

  6. April 24, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    What a wonderful gift. The best part is not only have you given those gifts to your father but to yourself as well. The world is a better place because of your willingness to share your story and let people know that change is possible. It’s never too late!

    • April 24, 2015 / 6:56 pm

      Thank you, Keli! I am glad I changed for the better, and though I’d give anything to have my father back, I know that his life made an impact on mine – and I can only hope to do the same for others. <3

  7. April 27, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Good for you – it takes a lot of courage to change your path. I bet your dad is really proud of you. Cheers!

    • April 27, 2015 / 6:32 pm

      Awww thanks, Laura! He was a brave guy so I feel like I’ve definitely picked that up from him! 🙂

  8. April 27, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Aw Erin, thanks for open your heart to us, I’m grateful for being able to know you better! What a precious story 😀

    • April 27, 2015 / 8:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Lily! It was a tough but rewarding post to write. I know so many people can sadly relate to feelings of loss, but it’s nice to be able to focus on the positive when possible. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. <3

    • May 1, 2015 / 6:24 am

      Thank you, Jill <3 You are so kind! It is hard at times but not impossible, especially with great support - blogging has also been an incredibly positive outlet for me too! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

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